Bankhall enhances support for directly authorised firms with launch of Product Selection Tool
→ Bankhall, the professional support services provider, has launched a new tool to help directly authorised firms understand the key compliance and suitability considerations when recommending investment products to retail customers.
The new tool and supporting guidance is primarily aimed at independent advisers, who are required to consider all retail investment products (RIPs) and other non-RIP products when advising retail customers, in order to comply with the FCA’s independence and suitability rules. However, it will also be useful for restricted advisers in selecting appropriate investments from their panel, or where customers have existing products that could be considered for further investment.
The tool enables advisers to:
- Identify all retail investment products that must be considered by independent firms;
- Identify products that might be suitable for individual customers (or customer 'types'), based on their circumstances;
- Identify products that have additional firm permission requirements in order to advise or arrange them;
- Identify the products that have additional qualification requirements in order to advise on them;
- Create their own independent or restricted product 'panel' based on the needs of their customer base and their own product research.
Commenting, Stephen Gazard, managing director for Bankhall, said:
Advisers are facing a number of regulatory challenges following the RDR implementation, which introduced a new definition of 'retail investment product'. Further product categorisation is expected in January 2014, along with a ban on the sale of non-mainstream pooled investments to ordinary retail investors. This is making it increasingly difficult for firms to understand their compliance obligations when recommending investments to their customers.
We believe there is a real need for practical guidance to help streamline this process for independent advisers. We are confident that our new tool will help make the process easier for advisers to continue to deliver the best service to their customers.